Mother and Daughter Travels

Posted on 19 August 2007

Gill at Narbonne Plage Yvonne at Beach

Traveling with Gill is a delight. She too loves adventure and does not turn sour when things do not work out as planned.

We decided to take a little trip to the Mediterranean. Narbonne Beach is only a 2 1/2 hour trip so we set off early, planned to find a hotel for one night and bath in the sand and sun. Although we did the same trip with Shirley and Rowan, without reservations, all went well even though the first night’s hotel was a touch sleazy. This trip there were no empty hotel rooms in the seaside towns.

No matter. We rented comfortable beach lounges and an umbrella, I read, Gill walked, and we both enjoyed the sights – a lot of beautiful people (many bare-breasted women) cavorting and relaxing. Around six, we headed into the nearest city, Narbonne, and walked for two hours looking for a hotel – still no luck – even at the less desirable hotels. We drove to Nissan, found a quaint inn, where we were lectured about dropping in at 7:30 at night and not making reservations six months in advance. We drove to the next large centre – Beziers – and tried more inns – again no luck finding a bed for the night. (At this point, we were not fussy.)

So we laughed and decided to take care of another need – our stomachs – found a good outdoor restaurant, shared a salmon salad, ate a good meal of fish and steak, had one glass of wine, and hit the autoroute planning to drive home. But it was dark and I was tired. We pulled off at a rest stop that had a hotel (but again full), parked our car in a dark spot, put down the seats. And laughed some more. (This was definitely Gill’s influence. Without her, I would have been in tears.) Gill used a towel for a blanket. Me, a shawl. We wiggled around, trying to get comfortable, thought sleep impossible. We woke at 3:30 in the morning and headed into the restaurant for breakfast that was surprising good – fresh coffee and tea and a plate with croissant, roll, butter and a small jar of gourmet jam.

Although the sun rises late in this part of the world – around 7 – we returned to the autoroute where I pretended I was part of the convoy of trucks, moving at around 80 kph, and watching cars whizz by at 130. We arrived home before 8 in the morning.

Gill laughed as I climbed into bed, groaning with pleasure, kissing my pillow, and thanking the heavens for a good bed… and a lively, fun-loving travel companion who kept the mood light, at no time complaining about my haphazard take-what-comes approach to travel.

When I described our adventure to Frances and Carole – two friends in our village, Frances groaned and said she’d never travel in August in the south of France, without a reservation. Perhaps we will plan better in the future – but I love spontaneity too much to organize too much – but even my daughter agreed that it would have been more comfortable with blankets and pillows. Next time, we will bring some… just in case.

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